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Old 03-05-2009, 10:40 AM   #1
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Looks like I/the battery-fill-system killed all 6 house batteries (besides removing most of the paint in the battery compartment) and they need to be replaced.
Looking at cost and convenience, Costco offers 6V golf cart batteries (220 amp hours) for $76 each (dealer is at $200 each, but it does include installation). Since I'd be staying with wet cell and using Water Miser caps (much less than AGM and no reprograming the Xantrex) this seems to be the best option with little maintenance.
Am I missing anything.


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Old 03-05-2009, 01:28 PM   #2
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Lurking on this one.

Paul & Joy. "Doghowz" is a 2008 Damon Challenger 377 owned by our 3 Keeshonden and by our Pomeranian "foster-failure" with a Mini Cooper S toad
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:01 PM   #3
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Clark- I'd call that good dollar logic. For the installation you may want to include scrubbing the tray, wash & let soak w/Prep-Solv (ask any auto paint supplier in your area, they carry it), repaint starting w/some really great primer, then Rhino-Liner or at least a good plastic sheet made of stuff like cutting sheets used in the kitchen, then the new batteries. Also might want to consider Hydro Caps instead of the Miser's. You can do a FIND from the Alpine Owner's Forum page on their performance which has been well discussed here. Costco 6V batteries plus the HCaps make for a good balance IMHO between cheap and easy and you shouldn't have to worry about water or mess (much) after that.
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:18 PM   #4
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One thing I missed the last time I bought new RV batteries was the "terminal type". I phoned the battery guy and told him I wanted 6 batteries and he had the delivery truck drop them off at his shop for me to pick up. And it never dawned on me that the terminal configuration would be different than what I had, or that it might matter.

I'm far away from the rig and can't say what I did have or what I've got now, but here's the deal in a nutshell.

The threaded bolt or stud may be oriented either vertically or horizontally on the terminals of the battery. I had one orientation (from the factory) and bought the other orientation. The cables are not very flexible but I had to bend each end 90 degrees in order to make them work. And, one cable had so little length tolerance that I almost had to go down to the auto parts place and have a new cable made.

So, while you can probably make any terminal work for you, and you can probably make your existing cables work for you too, my suggestion is to do this when you've got enough spare time in case you find that you do have to go have a battery cable made up special.

I just went to the Interstate battery website, and under Golf Cart batteries they say they've got terminal types UTL, UT, S, L and A. Then I proceeded to look all over the Internet to find a webpage that showed them all. That page may not exist!

The Interstate battery site (http://www.interstatebatteries.com/c...nfo/golf_f.asp) lists the U2000, U2200, U2300 and U2400 6-volt deep cycle batteries. They range from 216 amp hours to 251 amp hours and are all physically the same size (although differing weights).

You can make battery selection real complicated, or real easy depending on factors such as how much you like to boondock, how much solar capacity you have, what loads you must have the battery bank power and for how long, and price, etc. If your answers to most of the above is that you think you're in the "average" or "normal" range, then those Costco batteries ought to be a good choice subject to their physical size fitting in your space.

With the cost savings in buying those Costco batteries, you might want to think about some kind of slide-out tray system for the batteries. That would make them a cinch to inspect and maintain.

Get a good battery terminal brush or metal bristle brush and thoroughly clean the cable ends before you re-use your cables.

Safety: If you do the job yourself, remove watches and rings, etc. Get good gloves. Wear goggles. Have a hose close by to spray your hands, face, eyes if you get any acid on you. Wear old clothes. Etc!

Good luck!
Mike and Mike (Michele)

2004 Alpine 34 FDDS
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:34 PM   #5
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Mike, Mike and Mike - Thanks. I greatly appreciate you advice about the installation, prep, paint and safety issues.
E-Mike... when I read the info on Water Misers it said they were, in general, better for the RVer so I'll look again.

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Old 03-05-2009, 06:48 PM   #6
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I'd still look at AGMs. Our replacement Lifeline's are a lot less work and just don't cause a lot of problems. Reprogramming the Xantex is just a matter of telling it that it's AGM vs. wet cell in the options and setting the amp hours to "number of batteries times amp hours", in our case , 8 batteries times 110 or 880 amphours. It's an easy thing to do in the settings.

Also, I've mentioned this before, but household ammonia does a wonderful job cleaning the battery compartment, following by flushing with water. Very simple, no residue, and very clean. I would use all the safety equipment -- gloves, safety glasses/goggles, mask/respirator, no watches, rings, etc. It's what the owner of Lifeline batteries, who owns an Alpine Coach, told me to do, and it worked well.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:13 PM   #7
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I know that AGM batteries are expensive, but so is a Motorhome. Relative to the cost of the Motorhome, the extra cost of AGM over flooded cell batteries is very small. The relative benefit is enormous.

I too have Lifeline AGM batteries, which have been installed for almost 3 years. I have done absolutely zero maintenance on them. No corrosion, no out-gassing, no spills, no mess, no watering, faster recharging time, slower discharging time, etc. Monthly, or sometimes more often, I check the battery compartment just to make sure the batteries are still there. Occasionally, I blow out the battery compartment with compressed air, just to keep the dust off the batteries. You can tell that I am sold on AGMs.
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:38 PM   #8
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i like my lifeline agm's.
one of the benefits often overlooked is that you can mount them on their sides, etc, with no leaks, and no venting problems ever.
depending on your installation, you may be able to use larger batteries for more amp-hrs.
i easily increased my amp-hour capacity from 200 to 300.
lifelines are more expensive.
i got mine from bd batteries in denver. ground shipping is included in their price.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:51 AM   #9
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QUOTE]Costco offers 6V golf cart batteries (220 amp hours) for $76 each (dealer is at $200 each, but it does include installation).[/QUOTE]
What is the SKU or model number for the Costco batteries. I am in the market for them also.
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:36 PM   #10
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I think another thing to consider is how well you take care of the batteries when the coach is parked. I'm not able to park my RV at home so each time I park it for more than a week I pull the batteries out and hook them up to my BatteryMinder. I presently have two deep cycle 6 volt batteries (4 yrs old) and they are still going strong and we boondock alot. When it comes time to replace them I am going to try the Costco batteries.

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Old 03-06-2009, 05:13 PM   #11
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I couldn't find an SKU number (whatever that is) but these were the numbers I did see: 245725 and CCA 2-GCS.
They are made by Johnson Controls, BUT I just noticed that the studs/poles are the small ones (maybe 5/16th is my guess) not the fat boys that most cars have. Since the Alpine is not here I can't run out and see if those will work, but my guess is no. If that is the case it would seem to me that I would restrict the juice flow by changing the connectors to the smaller type to fit. Anybody know if: 1. the Alpine has the normal approximately 1 inch poles and 2. if I switch the cable ring terminals will it affect my system.


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